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On 8/23/2005 at 11:31 AM, alan7147 said:

Heading up to NYC this weekend to see some friends. I know we have reservations at the Strip House (more along the line of the Palm rather than Good Guys) on Friday night. Has anyone been there and could comment on the restaurant. I have read some favorable reviews about the food (interesting sides like goose fat potatoes) but have heard that the wait even with reservations can be long.

On 8/23/2005 at 5:48 PM, crackers said:

Do you mean Robert's Steakhouse? If so, "strip house" is accurate.

Nope. Strip House is a normal steak place.

That said, folks, one of the best kept secrets in NYC is that Peter Luger has no wait at lunchtime. Go from there to Otto to taste grappa, and you're ready for the evening!

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cjsadler said:
Can anyone recommend any mid-priced places in NYC? (That means something south of Per SeDanielLe Bernardin, etc). Under consideration are LupaAugust, and Landmarc.

It's kind of hard to go wrong with any of the Batali empire; we've tried Babbo, Esca, Otto and the Spotted Pig, and they're all excellent, so I can't imagine Lupa wouldn't be too. Babbo is a little high for the "mid-priced" range, but the others are pretty solidly within it. Otto's worth the trip just for the gelato.

Artisanal is another moderately priced option - even if you don't do the cheese plate, the other dishes make it worth a visit. The gougeres in particular are out of this world, and we had a particularly nice heirloom tomato soup a couple of weeks ago.

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Can anyone recommend any mid-priced places in NYC? (That means something south of Per Se, Daniel, Le Bernardin, etc). Under consideration are Lupa, August, and Landmarc.

I had an excellent lunch at Landmarc back in February. Everything we had from the extensive menu was very good, really cheap wine list.

I'd also put in a thumbs up for Otto and Artisanal - word of advice - get something with cheese.

Bread Bar at Tabla [Closed Dec 30, 2010] is another mid-priced option I've liked - good, forward thinking Indian.

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On 10/6/2005 at 3:29 PM, Waitman said:

Go to the front room of the Grammercy Tavern. Spectacular food, beautiful but informal setting. No reservations, so early or late are your best bet.

Note to winos--Gramercy Tavern (front room or back) has the 1998 von Buhl Ungeheuer Spatlese trocken for a bloody-steal $42.

Otto is the best place to drink in NYC--800-selection Italian wine list and a sommelier always on duty, even on Sunday afternoons at 3PM. Great cheese and salumi, etc.

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cjsadler said:
Can anyone recommend any mid-priced places in NYC?  (That means something south of Per Se, Daniel, Le Bernardin, etc). Under consideration are Lupa, August, and Landmarc.

Its not a 'name' place but one of the meals we had in NYC earlier this year was at an place called Cibo [Closed 2016]. They have a 3 course lunch menu for $26.95. It was nothing earth shattering but it was nice.....

and Otto is really great - if nothing else go for the olive oil gelato sprinkled with sea salt!

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Po is no longer a part of the Batali empire, but I still love it. For my last two years living in NYC ('99-01), I ate there at least every ten days. My apartment building was just feet away. *sigh* the good old days!

I never had a bad meal at Lupa, although some were preceded by really long waits. I keep meaning to get to Otto.

On my next visit, I'm planning to visit Churrascaria Tropical in Astoria, an easy subway ride away. I used to frequent the now-defunct Riodizio, as well as the still-in-business Churrascaria Plataforma. The latter now charges close to $50 per person and I'm hearing Tropical presents food of the same or better quality for less than $30.

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cjsadler said:
Can anyone recommend any mid-priced places in NYC?  (That means something south of Per Se, Daniel, Le Bernardin, etc). Under consideration are Lupa, August, and Landmarc.

I would recommend Craft. The food is simple, but perfectly prepared. I have been a number of times, and never had a course, or a side that was anything other than spectacular. As an example, the lobster is so sweet you will think that they must of added a touch of sugar to it.

As for Artisanal, just go and order cheese or fondue, avoid the rest which is fine, but nothing spectacular.

---

Craft (bilrus)

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For all of the times I have been to Craft I have never tried any of the more complicated dishes. I always assumed that if I wanted them, I would just stick with Gramercy Tavern (which does a wonderful job on them).

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Speaking of Craft, I was at Hearth this weekend, which is the restaurant of former Craft executive chef Marco Canora. I've never experienced Craft, but Hearth continues the philosophy of Craft: very high quality ingredients prepared simply. It's hard to fault any of the food we had, as preparation and quality was all faultless, but I don't know how excited I was about the place. Maybe I'm just jaded after all the eating out I've been doing, but the food just came across as too simple. An amuse of parsnip soup was pureed parsnip with a little butter and cream. It was fine, but didn't go beyond that. The skate I had was sauteed perfectly and served with a bare hint of vinaigrette and some roasted root vegetables. This was perfectly fine as well. However, I don't know if this is the type of thing I'm looking for when I go out to eat in NYC. These days, you can buy similar quality fish from Black Salt and cook it with some butter and s+p to the same effect, or get some nice vegetables from the farmer's market and roast them. (Though if I lived in NYC, or was up there more, I might enjoy going to Hearth occationally).

However, the next day, a brunch at Prune showed how remarkable simplicity can be (Chef Gabrielle Hamilton is known for simplicity... and for using offal). An omelet stuffed with fried oysters was somehow more than the sum of its parts. The perfectly (and I mean perfectly) fresh and well cooked eggs combined with the crisp oysters and a strange sauce of tabasco and powdered sugar to create the greatest omelete ever. A thick, baked pancake with pears was insanely good. The housemade lamb sausage was the best I've ever had. Worth the wait (no reservations for brunch-- plan on about an hour)

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Tweaked said:
Skip mid range and go decidedly low range in Chinatown! XO Kitchen

Any other Chinatown recs? Heading to NYC in a couple of weeks and want to explore more of Lower Manhattan - maybe, weather permitting, walking across the bridge for Grimaldi pizza and exploring DUMBO.

Got amateur night dinner reservations at Tribeca Grill and Bolo (Flay's Spanish restaurant [Closed in Sep, 2007]). Usually have Upper East/West Side centered visits so please help me make smart choices (BF awarded bonus points for August RW dinner at Corduroy). Babbo/Lupia/Otto are booked (any walk-in tactics?).

---

Piccolo Angolo (CrescentFresh)

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Lydia R said:
Any other Chinatown recs?

My current favorite dim sum place in Chinatown is Dim Sum Go Go. Dumb name, but great dim sum. The roast duck dumplings are worth the trip alone. And by that I mean the trip to NYC. They don't do carts, everything is made fresh to order, and there's are photos on the menu if you're unsure of what everything is. 5 E. Broadway, on the east side of Chatham Square.

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I want to try Dim Sum Go Go next time I'm in town - last time I went to Sweet n Tart for Dim Sum and it was very good. Again, it was an order off the menu deal.

The best bite of food I had on that trip was the Stuffed Eggplant at Sweet n Tart. And that trip included a meal at Per Se.

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Depending on the weather, there's always the Chinatown Ice Cream Factory. Mmmm, lychee sorbet.

If it's colder, you can walk down to the Doughnut Plant on the Lower East Side. They also serve some extraordinarily rich Valhrona hot chocolate.

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I never went to Lupa WITH a reservation; just a willingness to sit at the bar for a glass of wine or two. :lol: My friend who frequents Otto isn't the reservations sort so I'd be surprised if you couldn't go and wait there too. As for Babbo, if you're dining solo or with just one other, perhaps the bar would work?

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I ate at the bar at Babbo a year or so ago by arriving very shortly after they opened. It was an early dinner but it was hassle free and enjoyable. The bartender was nice (when we told him we were from Baltimore, he couldn't stop talking about how much he loves Peter's) and he took good care of us. One strange thing did happen - my husband went to the bathroom and the minute he left a waiter approached, handed me a Babbo card with his name and cell number written on the back and told me to call if I ever need reservations. I threw the card away or else I'd pass on his number.

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I forgot to mention Devi from the other weekend. Old Egulleteers might remember Suvir Saran (India host). It's his place, and it's pretty spectacular. He's taken Indian home cooking and modernized in a restaurant setting to great effect. Check out his cookbook too.

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New York here I come!

I haven't been in the city since April. (Wow--much longer than normal) I'm going for work so I'm juggling all sorts of needs and limited time.

On my list:

Shake Shack

A tour of the various cupcake war outlets. (Can I find my way around the Lower East Side on my own???)

Blue Smoke

Knickerbocker

Maria Pia

Either Balthazar or Pastis fo breakfast one morning.

I meant to sit on my phone for Babbo reservations and then got too busy. Sigh...

The only one that really worries me is Maria Pia --it got nice comments on menupages.com and I really liked the menu and it's right around the corner from my first meeting... We'll see.

Then I'm off to Cincinnati with even less free time... :lol: I'll work some chili in and that's about it.

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On my list:

Shake Shack

Shake Shack is really good, but be careful if you're pressed for time - if they're at all busy it'll take a while for your order to come out since everything's cooked to order. (Burger, fries, concrete, and soda took >45 min.)

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Blue Smoke

I have not been all that impressed with Blue Smoke. I think that it might be best BBQ in New York, but that is not really saying a whole lot. The pulled pork would not make you forget Starlight or Lexington #1 (if you have ever been to either). Plus they serve it on a Brioche bun. Brioche? Serving pulled pork on brioche sounds to me like serving, well I don't know what, it just is never done. The richness of the bun takes away from what should be the focal point, the BBQ. The ribs are good, but not something I would make a special trip for, and not something I would spend Blue Smoke kind of money on.

If you do go, you will have a good meal, but I think you can find better food in NYC so I would not waste my precious meal times going there. If you want real Que, head south.

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I've never heard of Maria Pia. Did you scope it out with any NYC friends or on the other board?

If you're dining solo or with one other person, you can probably get in at the bar at Babbo.

Personally, I always loved Magnolia Bakery which was close to home for me. It's in the West Village (not LES) at Bleecker and Perry Streets.

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I've never heard of Maria Pia.  Did you scope it out with any NYC friends or on the other board? 

If you're dining solo or with one other person, you can probably get in at the bar at Babbo.

Personally, I always loved Magnolia Bakery which was close to home for me.  It's in the West Village (not LES) at Bleecker and Perry Streets.

Unfortunately we've got 4 people so I'm pretty much out of luck for Babbo. Maria Pia got good reviews elsewhere and had good word of mouth from friends. I just don't usually trust Italian that far uptown. I've had many a NY trip where I never get farther than Union Square.

The cupcake place on the LES I want to try is Buttercup Cafe, I think. I'm too far away from my file. It's another of the Magnolia break-aways. I'll work in Magnolia after the Knickerbocker and maybe if I feel like doing some serious walking, I'll hit Billy's Bakery too.

I'll need to walk if I'm going to eat that many cupcakes!

Jennifer

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I have not been all that impressed with Blue Smoke.  I think that it might be best BBQ in New York, but that is not really saying a whole lot.  The pulled pork would not make you forget Starlight or Lexington #1 (if you have ever been to either).  Plus they serve it on a Brioche bun.  Brioche?  Serving pulled pork on brioche sounds to me like serving, well I don't know what, it just is never done.  The richness of the bun takes away from what should be the focal point, the BBQ.  The ribs are good, but not something I would make a special trip for, and not something I would spend Blue Smoke kind of money on. 

If you do go, you will have a good meal, but I think you can find better food in NYC so I would not waste my precious meal times going there.  If you want real Que, head south.

I went to Blue Smoke last fall with friends and really liked it. I've got a group of five this time and this seemed like the most likely to fit this groups bill. I think Virgil's at Times Square has good que too...

Fortunately I hit NY often enough, usually, that I can get in most of my wishes eventually...

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